Best Family Friendly Campgrounds in South Carolina – Updated for 2020
Camping season in South Carolina is here and its time to start planning your family camping trip. We’ve found the top family friendly campgrounds for tent campers and RVs in SC. These campgrounds have kid-friendly activities and amenities sure to appeal to the young and young at heart.
Camping season 2020 is around the corner in South Carolina and we’ve compiled the best campgrounds for families in SC. Whether you are looking for a primitive family campsite or a luxury RV resort, South Carolina has a campground to suite your wishes! We’ve sifted through all the data and found the top 9 family-friendly campgrounds for your next camping trip in South Carolina. (Is this your first time tent-camping with the kids? Read this first.)
As parents ourselves, we know what’s important for a successful family camping trip.
CLEAN BATHROOMS – so important for tent campers who rely on clean, well-maintained bathrooms and showers! Even if you have a bathroom with your RV, its essential to have nice bathrooms when you are out and about exploring the parks.
KIDS’ AREAS & ACTIVITIES. While it isn’t essential to have organized activities for children, they are nice to have as an option. In addition – playgrounds and kid-friendly hiking trails are a must.
CAMPSITE PRIVACY. No one wants to drive a couple hours from home with all their camping gear to just be crammed into a campsite practically on top of their neighbors! We know we aren’t exactly back-packing into the wilderness, but bonus points for those campsites who have a measure of privacy so you can at least pretend you are miles away from society. (Check out this quick read on setting up a comfortable campsite)
With these criteria in mind, here is our suggested list of best campgrounds for families – SORTED GEOGRAPHICALLY EAST TO WEST.
Ocean Lakes Family Campground – Myrtle Beach, SC
Campground at James Island County Park – Charleston, SC
Hunting Island State Park – Hunting Island, SC
River Bottom Farms Family Campground – Swansea, SC
A mega resort situated on 310 oceanfront acres at Myrtle Beach. With 859 campsites (641 with concrete pads) and 300 private rentals (both beach house and trailers) Ocean Lakes Family Campground is almost its own town! If you are looking for tons of activities and amenities for the whole family – you can’t go wrong with this family-owned campground. Reservations for campsites are site-specific, so you will know exactly which site you’ll be camping at.
If you are looking for a middle of nature, private camping experience – this is not the campground for you. However, if you are looking for a family vacation with planned activities and plenty of options for every age – you’ll really like this resort!
19 separate beach access sites
Sports courts: volleyball, basketball, shuffleboard
Nature Discovery Center
Golf cart rentals Church
All sites are pull-through
Most sites can accommodate a 40’ camper with slide-outs on both sides
Water & Sewer
20-30-50 amp electric
64 channel cable TV hook up
Phone jack with free local calls
Daily curbside trash pick up
Beach House & Trailer Rentals
Sites (either house or trailer):
Bring your own linen & paper products
You’ll find 643 acre James Island County Park just a short drive from Charleston, SC. There are miles of paved trails where you can go on family bike rides or just walk. There is also a waterpark for kids as well as fishing, crabbing, and boating!
If you are bringing dogs with you – they’ll enjoy an off-leash park and several beaches where they can swim and play with new doggie friends! Dog poo bag stations are installed throughout the park to make things easier for dog owners and less mess for everyone else!
Visitors report exceptionally clean shower houses and bathrooms.
643 acre park
Paved nature trails
Splash Zone waterpark (seasonal)
Freshwater lakes with fishing
Pedal boats, kayak, paddleboard, and bicycle rentals
Tidal creek fishing and crabbing dock
Off-leash dog park
Campground Store Laundry Facility
Hunting Island was hit hard by two separate hurricanes which caused widespread damage, washed away over half of the campsites and killed thousands of trees. Despite the devastation, the campground is still stunningly beautiful with a breathtaking coastline and abundant trees and wildlife. There is a salt marsh surrounding the island and there are plenty of educational opportunities for the young and old alike to learn about the nature and local wildlife.
One of the star attractions to this campground is the lighthouse. 167 steps to the top and you’ve got unbelievable vistas in 360 degrees!
Don’t be deterred by the reports of hurricane damage – this is a campground worth visiting and relaxing at! Restrooms, showers, and facilities are all rated tops as far as cleanliness!
20/30 & 50 amp electrical
Some sites accommodate RVs up to 40 ft, some up to 28 ft
River Bottom Farms Family Campground is a low-key, family-centered campground. There are so many outdoor fun things for kids to do – from playgrounds, to 3 stocked ponds full of fish, to all sorts of recreational games you can borrow and use. The camp staff have planned activities such as games, craft time, karaoke night, bingo, and wagon rides to name a few. Pets are welcome as well in the camping area (not the cabins).
The bathhouse and laundry facilities are clean and well maintained. Besides young families you’ll find many other grandparents vacationing with their grandchildren!
Fishing in ponds, creeks, and North Edisto River
Gaga ball and human foosball courts
ADA bathhouse, showers
30 & 50 amp
Heat and Air
Bring your own linens
No smoking or pets
Dreher Island State Park is best known for its three islands that link to the mainland by a causeway and two bridges. The park is 348 acres and includes 12 miles of shoreline on Lake Murray which is popular for boating and fishing (including national fishing tournaments!).
Families with young children will enjoy the nature trails as well as playgrounds scattered throughout the park. Older children will enjoy fishing for largemouth bass, boating, biking, and geocaching. For scuba divers with their own equipment – Lake Murray offers incredible dive sites with boat wrecks, a giant bridge, railroad trestles, rock ledges, and even an entire house! Contact the park office for information on diving permits.
Picnic shelters (10)
Fishing tournament shelters
3 boat ramps with private boat access to Lake Murray
Community bath/shower facilities
Tent Specific Sites
Water, electric hook-ups
Primitive Camping Area
For organized groups (see website for details)
Up to 25 campers
3 (one of these is user friendly for physically impaired)
No pets allowed
Linens, basic cooking/eating utensils provided
12 x 12 ft
1 set bunk beds
1 double bed
Outside water spigot
NO running water, linens are NOT provided
No pets (until 1 Jan 20)
** After Jan 1, 2020 – pets are allowed in cabins #2-5.
Families who love spending time on the water will really enjoy their stay at Hamilton Branch State Park. Many of their campsites are on the waterfront of 70,000-acre Lake Thurmond. Shoreline fishing is popular as well as deep water fishing for bass, bream, striper, catfish, and crappie.
Besides water activities – there are a number of other family-friendly recreational activities at the park. Family biking trips can begin on the trail connector to the Stevens Creek Bike Trail – a 12 mile trail (with some sections unpaved). Bicycle rentals are available at the park office for reasonable rates. If your family enjoys Geocaching, there are several geocaches located throughout the park just waiting to be discovered! In the Park Office you can also check out outdoor games: horseshoes, bean bag toss, kickballs, frisbees, and more.
8 Comfort stations (restroom facilities & hot showers)
2 Dump stations
No Wi-Fi available
2 private boat ramps
Trail connector to 12-mil Stevens Creek Bike Trail
150 sites are waterfront
Water & electricity
Tent Specific Sites
Primitive Camping Area
Up to 400 people
Twin Lakes Campground is a picturesque area located on Hartwell Lake. The campground has wooded areas all around the lake with several campsites waterfront. By far, the most popular activity for families is boating and all watersports like fishing, swimming, kayaking, and paddle boarding. In addition there are several trails that are fun for mountain biking and hiking.
The campground is spacious, you won’t feel like you are living on top of your neighbors. The water and trees provide peace and tranquility.
Paris Mountain is the perfect destination campground for families who love to hike. There are many different hiking trails, at all levels of difficulty, to explore. After hiking you can cool off in Lake Placid which has a summer swimming area as well as opportunity to rent paddle boards and kayaks. The campground areas are quiet and wooded and are very peaceful. Facilities are older, but well maintained and clean.
1540 Acres of parkland
Miles of hiking and biking trails
4 park lakes (Lake Placid, Mountain Lake, Buckhorn Lake, and North Lake)
Swimming area (seasonal)
Electric and water
Designated Tent Sites
Electric and water
Trailside Camping Sites
Each site can accommodate up to 2 small tents and 5 people
Devil’s Fork State Park sits alongside incredible Lake Jocassee – a 7565 acre, clear water lake. The waters are exceptionally clear and are super popular with SCUBA divers, snorkelers, swimmers, canoers, kayakers, and paddleboarders. Lake Jocassee is fed by mountain streams and several waterfalls, making its temperatures cooler than surrounding area lakes and known for its trout fishing.
Families can choose from four different camping methods – the standard campsites (for RVs and tents), a primitive tent camping ground, a boat-in campground, and 20 two-and-three-bedroom lakeside villas. In addition spring time is the only time to see the rare Oconee Bell blooms (mid-March to April).
3 boat ramps
Restrooms with hot showers
2 vehicles per site allowed
12’ x 12’ tent pad
Max 2 tents per site
Tent Only Sites (walk-in):
12’ x 12’ elevated tent pad
Max 1 tent per site
Water spigots & restrooms are located adjacent to the walk-in tent parking area
Boat-in backcountry campsites located on northern shore of Lake Jocassee at base of Musterground Mountain.
Combination fire rings/grill pits
No pets allowed
No water, electrical or restroom facilities
All trash must be removed upon departure
Beginning 1 Jan 20 – pets allowed in villas 1-5
All linens provided
Kitchen appliances, basic cooking/eating utensils provided